Moscow- RUSAL (SEHK: 486; Moscow Exchange: RUAL), one of the leading global aluminium producers, plans to install over 20 state-of-the-art dry gas cleaning systems (DGCS) at its smelters by 2025. These advanced systems were developed by RUSAL’s design and scientific divisions and the new equipment will allow the Company to capture over 99.5 % of hydrogen fluoride and solid fluorides.
The project to retrofit RUSAL’s smelters with own DGCS was launched in 2016. In October 2019, the Bratsk aluminum smelter put into operation another DGCS, developed and manufactured by the design and scientific divisions of RUSAL-SibVAMI (Irkutsk) and RUSAL ITC (Krasnoyarsk). More DGCS’ are already in operation at the Company’s industrial sites in Shelekhov and Novokuznetsk.
As part of RUSAL’s environmental action plan for the period spanning 2020-2024, it is expected that another 17 DGCS’ will be assembled and put into operation at the Bratsk, Novokuznetsk and Irkutsk aluminium smelters.
“This project is truly unique thanks to our patented design solutions, enabling RUSAL to complete the switch to utilising our own dry gas cleaning systems as part of our “EcoSoderberg” technology implementation. This innovative new technology outperforms the existing foreign analogues and delivers a superior performance, both in terms of RUSAL’s sustainability footprint and overall efficiency characteristics,” said Victor Mann, RUSAL’s Technical director.
The company recently announced the signing of a new five-year sustainability-linked pre-export finance facility for USD 1,085,000,000. The size of the facility increased from the initially announced USD 750 million as the market supports the Company’s commitment to low-carbon aluminium technologies and green aluminium production. The signed facility is the first ever sustainability-linked syndicated facility arranged by international and Russian commercial banks in Russia.
The interest rate is subject to a sustainability discount or premium depending on the Company’s fulfilment of the sustainability key performance indicators (KPI). Sustainability KPIs are related to the Company’s environmental impact and sustainable development and include the growth targets of ALLOW aluminium sales – RUSAL’s low-carbon aluminium produced with hydropower.
Other KPIs also cover the reduction of carbon footprint and decrease of fluoride emissions. They will be measured annually and verified by an independent and specialized third party. The proceeds of the facility will be used to partly refinance the principal outstanding under the existing up to USD 2 billion pre-export finance facility that was drawn in May 2017.
ING Bank, a branch of ING-DiBa AG, and Natixis were Coordinating Bookrunning Mandated Lead Arrangers. Bank of China, Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank, Societe Generale and UniCredit S.p.A. acted as the Initial Bookrunning Mandated Lead Arrangers, Sberbank of Russia as the Bookrunning Mandated Lead Arranger and RCB Bank LTD as the Initial Mandated Lead Arranger. Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Ireland Plc and Bank ZENIT (Public Joint Stock Company) were the Mandated Lead Arrangers and Raiffeisen Bank International AG was the Lead Arranger.
Societe Generale and Natixis act as Sustainability Coordinators.
“We are very delighted to witness this level of trust from the investment and banking community towards the Company’s sustainability initiatives. Such high market interest also reflects the rising global demand for the low-carbon aluminium, of which RUSAL is the largest producer. The sustainability-linked pre-export finance facility further proves the Company’s seamless focus on prioritizing the transparency of the green aluminium production, as is the case with ALLOW, RUSAL’s low-carbon aluminium. Moreover, it is a crucial step towards the refinancing of the Company’s debt optimizing maturities and financing costs”, said Evgenii Nikitin, RUSAL’s CEO.
RUSAL is the largest producer of green aluminium in the world. The smelters which produce its low-carbon aluminium ALLOW have a carbon footprint four times lower than the industry average (scope 1&2). RUSAL continues to pioneer new technology which is focused on eliminating its greenhouse gas emissions. The Company’s extensive sustainability program includes a variety of initiatives including a country-wide reforestation programme, in which 1 million have been planted in Siberia.